We are excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the important contributions of Hispanic families to our country. OPRE research aims to inform ACF programs to better serve children and families, and a substantial share of ACF program participants are Hispanic. It is critically important for federal agencies and partners to better understand the experiences of the populations we serve. Differences across groups and individuals in well-being, opportunities, and access to services can intensify or lessen the effects of adverse health or economic events. Several OPRE projects are shedding light on the diverse needs and experiences of Hispanic children and families throughout the US, with the intent of supporting more effective services. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are spotlighting two OPRE projects: our grantee, the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page and the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Study.
Please take a moment to explore these two projects and consider how some of the insights from their work can inform your questions and ACF’s policies.
The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families investigates the needs of Hispanic populations served by ACF and promising approaches to promote social and economic well-being among low-income Hispanic families. In addition to generating new research, the Center aims to build research capacity in the field to inform ACF programs. This past year, the Center produced these findings:
- Analysis of data from the FDIC Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page found that the majority (60%) of Hispanic and Black low-income family households had no or limited access to banks Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page . In 2017, 14% of Hispanic households were unbanked, with no checking or savings account.
- Rates of children without health insurance in the United States declined steadily between 2010 and 2016 across all racial/ethnic groups. Beginning in 2016, the uninsured rate among children rose by more than half a percentage point Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page , resulting in roughly 515,000 more children who were uninsured in 2018 than in 2016. This uptick was limited to Hispanic children with only foreign-born parents and non-Hispanic White children.
- Low-income Hispanic families who pay out of pocket for child care tend to face relatively high costs that exceed the federal benchmark of affordability Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page . Immigrant Hispanic households who pay out of pocket spend an average of $101.14 per week on care (the equivalent of 29% of their total household income) and nonimmigrant Hispanic households spend an average of $91.98 (the equivalent of 26% of their total household income).
The Center also recently held a webinar discussion about service delivery for Hispanic Families during the COVID-19 pandemic: Reimagining Service Delivery For Hispanic Families During COVID-19 Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page .
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs provide child development, family support, and family engagement services to young children and their migrant and seasonal farmworker families. The MSHS Study was designed through extensive engagement and input from the MSHS community and is improving our understanding of: (1) characteristics of MSHS programs, centers, staff, families, and children; (2) services that MSHS provides; (3) instructional practices in MSHS classrooms; and (4) MSHS supports for child, parent, and family well-being.
A recent brief highlights what we learned from the study about children’s social and emotional skills. For example, we learned that:
- Nearly all (91%) of MSHS teachers of toddlers and preschoolers report that the children in their class work on social and emotional skills daily.
- About half of MSHS teachers (48%) and assistant teachers (55%) report that additional training in behavior class management would help them in their teaching.
- Most (84%) MSHS teachers report that at least 75% of the children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) in their class are meeting developmental expectations for social and emotional skills.
Be sure to check out other MSHS study products on our OPRE webpage and learn more about a number of topics, including:
- Characteristics of children and families served by MSHS programs;
- Children’s language and cultural experiences in MSHS classrooms; and
- MSHS parents’ well-being.
We hope information about these two projects sheds some light on our work to better understand, learn from, and serve the highly diverse group of children and families that we celebrate during Hispanic Heritage Month.